What if you could measure a glacier in such detail that you could visualize its surface in 3D? And what if you could compare that view with data from one, two, even 20 years ago? NASA airborne campaigns like Operation IceBridge have been measuring Greenland and Antarctica’s glaciers and ice sheets with a range of instruments for years, including radar, lasers, and high resolution cameras, in order to understand just how our planet’s ice is changing.
This video shows in unprecedented detail how Greenland’s massive Helheim Glacier has changed over 20 years, using data from instruments like the Airborne Topographic Mapper laser altimeter and the Digital Mapping System cameras, which fly every year on IceBridge missions, and satellite data form the Canadian Space Agency’s Radarsat Satellite. IceBridge plans to return to Helheim again in 2018 to carry on its annual survey.